A man who is suspected of robbing Centennial Bank in Conway and is thought to be responsible for a string of other bank robberies in at least three other states has struck again.
Authorities with the Tupelo Police Department in Mississippi issued a warrant for the arrest of Robert Shantz, 31, following a bank robbery that took place late Thursday afternoon. The suspect, believed to be Shantz, displayed a hand gun and requested money before fleeing the bank with the cash.
Capt. Chuck Bunn with the Tupelo Police Department said they are sure that Shantz is the man responsible for the robbery.
“We are working with other agencies in communities where Shantz is listed as a suspect and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to apprehend him,” he said. “We are not sure if he is still in the area but we are all working together to try to stop him before he does this again.”
A source who contacted the Log Cabin Democrat and is working with the agencies that are searching for Shantz said he is growing more worried about what is going to happen if Shantz is not discovered soon.
“I am worried that he is progressing in how he pulls off these crimes,” he said. “At first, he only told the bank tellers that he had a gun, but now he is showing it during the robberies. I am hoping that he gets caught soon because I don’t want him to go any further, he has gone far enough already.”
Earlier this week, Conway authorities were contacted by officials with the Marion Police Department when they began to suspect that a bank robbery suspect they were trying to apprehend matched the bank surveillance photos that Conway officials had of the suspect.
CPD authorities are continuing to work with investigators in Marion and in Alabama, Georgia and now Mississippi as Shantz is thought to be the person behind all of the bank robberies.
The source said that Shantz has bragged about how easy the banks were to rob and that he is afraid Shantz will continue his crime streak unless he is caught.
“I don’t think he is thinking straight right now,” he said. “He has been dealing with some things over the past little while and I’m afraid he is not thinking clearly. Unless something drastic happens, I don’t believe he will turn himself in, so I am hoping the police can catch him and get him some help.”
Conway authorities have issued a warrant for Shantz’s arrest on charges of aggravated robbery and theft. They are requesting that if anyone knows of his whereabouts to contact them at (501) 450-6130 or text the information to the text-a-tip hot line at 274637 (CRIMES) using keyword “Conway.”
Shantz is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who comes into contact with him is asked to call 911 immediately.
(Candie Beck is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1238 or at firstname.lastname@example.org)